When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. -Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Breathing meditation helps your mind remain calm during your meditation practice. It becomes easier to reach feelings of tranquility just by breathing. Why is it that breathing helps you clear your mind of all thoughts? It’s because breathing is what the body requires in order to live.
Complete focus on the breath helps your mind melt away any distracting thoughts. Simple breathing meditation centers your body and connects it with your mind. This connection helps you become present in the moment.
How many times do you ever stop to listen to your breath? When was the last time you paid attention to your breathing? I bet you, that you cannot remember. In our busy and hectic schedules, it is very hard to focus on the only action that helps us live. Breathing.
Through many years of working in a fast paced environment and lifestyle, our minds have become conditioned to a constant need of distraction. Our minds always NEED something to think about or do. Some people feel very anxious when confronted with emptiness and nothingness. The problem with constant mental distraction is that your mind burns out and leaves you more stressed.
Meditation breathing techniques force your mind to halt all thoughts and center itself around the breath. This new found mental relaxation will allow your mind to grow. Just like how you need to rest from your workouts to help your muscles grow, relaxing the mind through breathing meditation will make your mind stronger.
Simple breathing meditation benefits
Reduces anxiety, nervousness and sweating
Easy to solve problems after a quick meditation session
More confidence when entering new territory.
Lower’s blood pressure by reducing the heart rate.
Simple Breathing Meditation Technique
For beginners, it is important to start with basic breathing meditation. Meditation techniques is about patience and relaxation. Do not be concerned with how long you can meditate for or how easy you get distracted. Just focus on the simple effort of breathing.
Find a quiet place to sit. Free from all distractions.
Sit in a simple cross legged pose, corpse pose or any other comfortable position. Make sure that your body is not experiencing any pain or cramps while you are in the posture. Having cramps/pain will cause your mind to focus only on the tension.
Keep your back upright and erect. A hunched back during meditation will cause your mind into a state of sleep. Having an erect back helps you stay alert during the meditation.
Close your eyes or keep them partially open.
Bring your mind to the sensations of breathing. Can you hear the sound of the air going inside your nose? Is the air cold or warm?
Hold your inhalation for a count of 4. You should inhale deep into your belly and not your lungs. Let the flow of air become smooth and calm.
Exhale for a count of 5.
If you are getting distracted easily, then simply bring your focus back to the breath. Do not be disheartened by the constant distractions. It could easily be your mind becoming more aware of the objects and world around you. As the awareness grows, so does your minds appetite to follow these new sensations. But bring back your attention by focusing on the breath.
You can also read about other breathing meditation techniques in my other article about meditation for anxiety.